Chicago Cubs: Drew Smyly has better days ahead

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

In the offseason, the Chicago Cubs signed starter Drew Smyly to a two-year contract to be a starter in 2019. With the Cubs pitching staff having its ups and downs, most notably Tyler Chatwood, could we see Smyly return this season in a significant role?

It’s no secret that the Chicago Cubs No. 5 starter Tyler Chatwood has had his struggles early on this season. His biggest issue on the mound has been control, as he’s handed out a league-leading 40 free passes to this point.

Chatwood’s lack of command appeared to hit an all-time high in his latest outing against Cleveland in which he walked six batters in 2 2/3 innings. This isn’t anything new for Chatwood as we’ve seen him walk at least five batters in six of his nine starts this season.

With Chatwood struggling the Cubs have been pressured in the media and by fans to explore other options. Some suggest they should trade for the likes of Chris Archer or Cole Hamels. Others believe they should call up their young pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay.

If healthy, Smyly would be a strong addition to the Cubs pitching staff late in the season.

Perhaps the Cubs solved their problem in the offseason when they took a shot on starter Drew Smyly. Smyly is, of course, coming off Tommy John surgery and did not pitch at all in the 2017 season. However, he has been rehabbing smoothly without any setbacks for the last nine months.

When Smyly was signed by the Cubs in the offseason, the consensus was he would help bolster the pitching staff in 2019. Again, barring any setbacks in his rehab process, Smyly could be ready to pitch this season come late July or early August. He would be a tremendous asset to the Cubs pitching staff, almost like their secret weapon.

Smyly’s best season came back in 2013 with the Detroit Tigers when he pitched out of the bullpen. He posted a 6-0 record and a 2.37 ERA in 63 games.

Next: Why do Cubs' fans never want to learn?

The left-hander last pitched as a starter in 2016 for the Tampa Bay Rays where he made 30 starts. He won seven games while posting a 4.88 ERA and 167 strikeouts.